Daigrepont’s band, winner of the Big Easy Award for Best Cajun Group, has been nominated for a Grammy award.
Bruce Daigrepont was born in New Orleans, but is no stranger to Avoyelles Parish. His parents, from rural the French Creole farming community of Avoyelles Parish, La., moved to New Orleans shortly after World War II. French was their first language, which is obvious in Daigrepont’s music — totally sung in French. Daigrepont spent much time as a child visiting his grandmother on the Alexandria Highway north of Marksville.
“Gumbo and fricassee were almost always simmering on our stove,” the Cajun Music Hall of Fame artist said. “We never get tired of those flavors.”
Daigrepont grew up in a family surrounded by music. Every family gathering included singing and playing traditional Cajun music. His first instrument, at the age of 5, was a guitar his father gave him.
At the age of 20, after attending the annual Festival Acadians in Lafayette, he became inspired to play the accordion. In two years, he had formed his own band, instituted Cajun music at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans and helped popularize Cajun music, a genre once exclusively heard in rural Cajun country. In 1986, his weekly dance concerts became so popular he was able to move his performances to New Orleans’ Tipitina’s club.
Fast becoming one of Cajun music’s more popular ambassadors, Daigrepont has performed at Lincoln Center, the Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts and the National Folk Festival.